How Can I “Let Go and Let God” When It Comes to Recovery?

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Addiction is a complex disease that can be difficult to overcome, and there are many different factors that contribute to it. However, there is one common thread among people who recover from addiction: they learn to let go of their addiction, unhealthy attachment, and/or compulsion and let God take control.

But what does it mean to “let go”? A fellow once explained to me what it meant for her. Her young son was in swimming lessons and had difficulty learning to float. The swimming instructors began telling him over and over, “Just let go!” At that moment, she understood for the first time what it meant to “let go and let God.” What she said led me to reflect on floating on the ocean of God’s love and mercy, upheld by His love. Now, whenever I feel stressed, I return to that image of floating on the ocean of His infinite mercy and love.

I also like to think of “letting go” as a way of dancing. If I am relaxed in the arms of my dance partner and follow his lead, the dance is smooth and elegant. If I try to lead or do things my own way, we end up stepping on one another and the dance becomes awkward and uncomfortable. With God as my dance partner, I can surrender to Him, let go, and trust Him to lead me where He wants me to go. I can even rest my head on His shoulder and listen to Him whispering how much He loves me.

“Letting go” is not about giving up. It is about surrendering your addiction to God and trusting that He will take care of you. It is about accepting that you cannot control your addiction on your own and that you need help. Often people struggle with this acceptance but once you admit you are powerless to control your addiction, letting go is much easier.

In the case of our addiction, unhealthy attachments, and/or compulsions, letting God take control is about handing them over to Him so He can help you overcome them. It is about trusting that He has a plan for your life and that He will help you achieve your goals, one day at a time—even one moment at a time.

When you let go of your addiction, you free yourself from the burden of trying to control it. You no longer have to worry about using or not using your drug of choice, and you can focus on other things in your life. Letting God take control gives you hope for the future and helps you believe that you can overcome your addiction, no matter how destructive.

So, what are some concrete steps you can take to “let go and let God” when it comes to recovery? Below are a few:

  • Pray – Prayer is a powerful way to connect with God and ask for His help. When you pray, be honest with God about your addictions, unhealthy attachments, and/or compulsions and your desire to overcome them. Trust Him to take care of you.
  • Read the Bible – The Bible is full of stories about people who overcame adversity with God’s help. Reading the Bible can help you find hope and inspiration in the words and love of God.
  • Read Recovery Literature – Reading the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, The Catholic in Recovery Workbook, and other recovery-related resources can offer you hope as you read stories of other recovering addicts finding peace and fellowship in their recovery.
  • Find a Support Group – A 12-step group is a fellowship of others who are recovering from addiction. They are a wonderful source of help and support as you journey to recovery. Join a secular group for your particular addiction, unhealthy attachment, and/or compulsion, such as Overeaters Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, etc., as well as a Catholic in Recovery group to combine your recovery with your Catholic faith. Attending a group will show you that you are not alone, preventing you from isolating yourself and giving into despair regarding your addiction, unhealthy attachment, and/or compulsion.
  • Consider Professional Help – If you are struggling to overcome your addiction, unhealthy attachment, and/or compulsion, a therapist or counselor can help you to understand your addiction and develop a plan for recovery.

Letting go and letting God is not easy, but it is possible. If you are struggling with an addiction, unhealthy attachment, and/or compulsion know that you are not alone. There are people who can help you, with the most important person being God, of course. With hard work and determination, you can find freedom and live a healthy and fulfilling life, one day at a time.


Celeste is a wife, mother, and grandmother living in Louisiana’s Cajun Country. She is a lifelong Catholic and committed to spreading the Gospel through small group formation programs. She is a recovering food addict (embracing the slogan, “If you can’t stop at one, have none!”), an avid knitter, and a lover of God.